LOYALTY IN THE SONG OF ROLAND 1
Loyaltyin the Song of Roland
Loyaltyin the Song of Roland
When authoring their works, writers bring out various feelings inattitudes in a given society. They mold characters and situations toreflect their preferred themes. “The Song of Roland” that wasauthored in the medieval era by an anonymous writer brings out theaspects that defined the community. It also signifies the importanceof the hierarchical system in the middle age. The feudal communitythat paid tribute to God had other levels of leaders from the kingdownwards. God’s divinity in the era was manifested through theactions of the mortal beings. This essay will exemplify the theme ofloyalty in the Song of Roland and how it can be applicable in today’sworkplaces to enhance the achievement of goals and objectives set bythe management.
The virtue of loyalty is a devotion to a certain cause. Some peopleclaim that it is a stern interpersonal relationship and that anotherperson is the object to this virtue. In workplaces, it is veryimportant and assumes many forms ranging from customer loyalty toemployee one. It is perceived even though the individual isintrinsically committed to the job. In the feudal community, theultimate authority lay with God. Charlemagne demonstrated his loyaltyby acting as a representative of Christ. His success in leadershipdepended highly on the loyalty of those who were below his authority.There is also punishment for errant members and rewards for those whohad an exemplary performance (Puchner, 2013, p989).
In workplaces, loyalty may be regarded as one of the primarycharacteristics that are instrumental in maintaining a healthyrelationship. Loyalty is built in a given hierarchy that defines theduties and responsibilities of the workers. In organizations, theexcellence of duties performed by individuals is highly dependent ontheir loyalty. The rationale for this is that managers cannot offerdirect supervision round the clock. The various functions are dividedon the assumption that the principle of justice binds individuals. Inthe Song of Roland, the military leaders who worked under Roland wereheld liable for their actions through the belief that they wereserving a higher purpose. This is observed when Roland informs hismen that "We must stand here for our king: One must sufferhardships for one`s Lord and endure great heat and great cold. Onemust also lose hide and hair" (Puchner, 2013, p999).
In addition, loyalty is cultivated by acknowledging exemplaryperformance and punishing wrongdoing. In workplaces, the employeesare motivated by the rewards they receive from the management. Also,those who have divergent behaviors should face various forms oflimitations to avoid repeating similar mistakes. Roland rewards andpunishes those in his top triangle, and this made them love and obeyhim. When Blancandrin wondered how Roland intended to form aformidable army to defeat other formations in the land, Ganelonoffered him a reply that depicting how Roland earned the loyalty ofhis army. According to Ganelon, “The French people love him so muchthat they will never fail him. He gives them so many gifts of goldand silver, mules, and warhorses, silken cloths, and armor”(Puchner, 2013, p1009).
Loyalty, as observed in the epic breeds, favor. Throughout the story,the narrator paints a picture of Christians being on a competitiveedge for their belief in God. While this is true, the favor from Godis a result of the allegiance that they have towards God. Thecharacters are termed as vassals who are loyal to their leader andGod. This approach towards work would be invaluable if applied indifferent occupations. Employees who honor their responsibilities canpropel their organization to exploit the available opportunities,especially in a competitive market.
The Song of Roland also tells the truth about life and theconsequences of human life. Fisrt, it is naturally agreed that humanbeings are religious and most of them are comfortable when payingtribute to a higher being. The assumed duty is imperative inmaintaining order because majority of the people believe that theyowe others responsibility towards others. For example, in the epic,the ‘vassals’ believe that they owe allegiance to Roland and God(Puchner, 2013, p989). Human beings also believe that they are heldliable to obey the rules set by those whom God have chosen.
Although the piece of work was authored in the medieval era whenbelief in God took center stage in people’s life, it is notentirely different from the kind of loyalty that men of God enjoytoday. For example, Charlemagne was the representative of Christ, andthe vassals believed that they could be punished if they defy hisorders (Puchner, 2013, 986). Today, Christians pay homage to theirreligious leaders, and they are subject to the rules conceived by thehigher authorities. They believe that they will receive blessings andfavor from God by being obedient. The epic is, therefore, a primereflection of the loyalty that is still practiced today.
In conclusion, loyalty is one of the oldest virtues that have beenpracticed in various societies. It is an important attribute since itcreates order in a hierarchical community and it makes governanceeasy. The Song of Roland is built on the value of loyalty. Thecharacters have complete allegiance to God and their leaders. Loyaltyresults in favor and success, and it can be an instrumental part oforganizational culture in any enterprise.
Puchner, M. (2013). Norton Anthology of Wold Literature-Volume 1&2. New York N.Y.: WW Norton & Company.